Earthquake won't stop a good vintage

2016 will be a good year for Marlborough despite the major earthquake. Photo / Jim Tannock
2016 will be a good year for Marlborough despite the major earthquake. Photo / Jim Tannock

The major 7.8 magnitude earthquake hasn't stopped wine growers from producing a near record vintage in what promises to be a good drop in the new year.

There was some wine loss due to the earthquake, but it only amounts to around 2 per cent of Marlborough's total production said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. "While this is frustrating, this is not a major concern as vintage 2016 was a near record one."

"This means there is plenty of wine available to continue our market growth," he said.

Gregan said 2015 saw a higher yield across the country and 2016 looks to be similar to 2014 in production and quality, though he stressed it's still too early to tell.

Storage tanks were the main culprit in lost wine, with an estimated 20 per cent of tanks in Marlborough impaired.

Gregan said damage assessments are continuing and the main priority for wineries is to repair or replace damaged tanks to have them in working order for the 2017 vintage.

"The process of tank repair is already underway but it is going to be a big task which will continue for many months. We have been liaising with affected wineries, engineers, tank manufacturers, the government and the Marlborough District Council to ensure there are no unnecessary impediments to that process proceeding as quickly and safely as possible," he said.

Marlborough produces over 200 million litres of wine each year with over 80 per cent destined for overseas markets.

Marlborough is predominantly known for its production of the Sauvignon Blanc variety, with 17,725 hectares dedicated to grape. The runner up, Pinot Noir, is planted across only 2,429 hectares by comparison.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 24 May 2017 21:20:51 Processing Time: 259ms